UPDATE 12.40pm: A leading business lobby group has dismissed as a marketing exercise, a statement signed by hundreds of businesses backing the Federal Government's carbon tax.
Almost 300 businesses, including Westpac, AGL, Unilever and GE, signed the joint statement backing the $23 per tonne price on carbon that officially started yesterday.
However, the Australia Chamber of Commerce and Industry remains firmly against the impost.
"Irrespective of the views of those companies supporting a carbon tax, this is more about a marketing pitch and is not a reflection of the mainstream business view,” the chamber's director of economics and industry policy Greg Evans told AAP.
ACCI represents small and middle-ranking business spread across the suburbs and regions of Australia who stand to lose under a carbon tax and consequent higher energy prices, he said.
"Our members are overwhelmingly price takers in the market place and are not in the position of being able to unilaterally set prices and simply pass those on down the chain,” he said in Canberra.
"In reality, the carbon tax has little consequence and is beneficial in many instances for energy providers who just pass on any price impact.
Equally financial institutions have no skin in this game so it's a comfortable position for them to support cost imposts they are not paying for."